Fish stock

This is exceptionally quick to make. The reason for the short cooking time is that the fish bones and trimmings give up their flavour much faster than meat bones. Simmer for no longer than 30 minutes or the bones will give the stock a bitter, gluey flavour. Any non-oily white fish trimmings can be used but the inclusion of a halibut or turbot head produces the best stock. Always use fish stock within 24 hours.

MAKES ½ L [1 pt]
- 675g (1½ Ib) white fish trimmings
- 1 medium-sized onion or leek, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- juice of half a lemon
- a few parsley stalks
- small bouquet garni
- 6 white peppercorns

1. Wash the dish trimmings well under cold running water. Put in a large pan, add vegetables, cover with 1 L [2 pt] cold water and bring slowly to the boil.
2. Remove scum with a slotted spoon.
3 Add remaining ingredients, bring back to the boil, half cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Strain the stock into another saucepan through a sieve lined with butter muslin or cheesecloth. Press the bones with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juices, then discard the bones.
5 Boil the strained stock over high heat until it has been reduced by half and the flavour has been concentrated.
6 Adjust the seasoning and use immediately, or freeze when cold.
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